Rubio: Trump has shown 'tremendous restraint' on Iran

Rubio: Trump has shown 'tremendous restraint' on Iran
© Greg Nash

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Energy: Critics pile on Trump plan to roll back major environmental law | Pick for Interior No. 2 official confirmed | JPMorgan Chase to stop loans for fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic MacGregor confirmed as Interior deputy chief GOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman MORE (R-Fla.) defended the killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani by the United States last week, saying President TrumpDonald John TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE had shown “tremendous restraint” on Iran prior to the strike.

“This president has shown tremendous restraint, after 11 rocket attacks, after everything that happened in the shipping lanes, after the attacks against Saudi Arabia,” Rubio, a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Select Committee on Intelligence, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

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“He has shown tremendous restraint in not responding to those but now we have reached a new level and it was time to enforce the crossing of these red lines,” Rubio added.

CBS’ Margaret Brennan pressed Rubio on the purported intelligence Trump and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: More closures possible at US bases in Europe as coronavirus spreads | Pompeo says Afghan 'reduction in violence is working' | Man accused of trying to blow up vehicle at Pentagon Pompeo: Afghanistan 'reduction of violence is working' Pompeo accuses China and Iran of hiding coronavirus outbreak MORE have cited of an imminent threat of attack on U.S. troops by Soleimani, noting that Soleimani had already been responsible for attacks on U.S. troops for years and questioning what made this alleged plot different.

Rubio did not specifically address the distinction, saying “When you gather information like this, it’s highly sensitive.” Asked by Brennan “what was so particular about this intelligence,” Rubio responded “the question is how would you justify not acting on the threat?”

“I think that Iran now has to sit there and say ‘how far are we now willing to go when we know that our adversary is far more powerful than we are?’” he added.

The White House has not offered evidence of the plot and figures in Congress and intelligence agencies have disputed whether the intelligence suggested an imminent threat from Soleimani.